A stretch of record-high days in late June had residents of the Willamette Valley sweating — and with the sweltering days came a number of emergencies as well.
Officials at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue tracked the calls they responded to from June 25-29, when triple-digit temperatures baked their coverage area.
In TVF&R's district, which includes a large swath of northwestern Oregon and the Newberg area, personnel responded to 53 heat exposure calls. Last year during the same period, there were zero such events.
Calls responding to sick persons were up from 92 this time last year to 124 during the heat wave. TVF&R also responded to 20 residential fire alarms (compared with eight last year) and 35 commercial fire alarms (25 last year).
Additional potential impacts of the heat included a tripling of psychiatric calls compared with the same stretch of days last year, along with 109 accidental falls. In late June 2020, TVF&R only responded to a total of 54 accidental falls.
Fire-wise, the damage was minimal and the incidents infrequent during the heat wave. The fires that did occur potentially could have been caused by people staying inside more often than they might during less intense temperatures. There were 12 bark dust fires, four brush fires, one barn fire, two car fires, two truck fires, five commercial fires and four residential fires.
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